Verizon Offers Netflix, HBO and Showtime to Lure Cord Cutters

Last month, we reported that Verizon and Netflix were quietly testing a bundled subscription plan with FiOS Triple Play customers in New York City. The move seemed somewhat surprising, when considering the recent public feud between the two companies regarding connection speeds. Now, in an effort to recapture cord cutters, Verizon is offering a $60 per month plan that includes Netflix, broadband speeds of up to 50Mbps, local TV channels, HBO and Showtime (and when they arrive next year, HBO Go and Showtime Anytime). Continue reading Verizon Offers Netflix, HBO and Showtime to Lure Cord Cutters

NBCUniversal Hosts Hackathons to Meet Industry Challenges

In attempt to bring new ideas to the table, NBCUniversal invited 300 developers, marketers and designers to partake in a weekend long hackathon to help the media company address some of its most common challenges when it comes issues such as movie releases and television audience retention. While the hackathon offered $25,000 in cash prizes, it was also an opportunity for attendees to access tools for building software applications and NBCUniversal to recruit future employees. Continue reading NBCUniversal Hosts Hackathons to Meet Industry Challenges

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

In an effort to develop universal standards and best practices for high-scale Internet video services, 17 content companies, service providers and technology vendors have gathered to create the Streaming Video Alliance. Together, these companies hope to improve the online video experience. SVA will initially focus on open architecture, quality of experience, and interoperability. Formation of the group comes as net neutrality continues its path as a complex and controversial issue. Continue reading Industry Leaders Join Forces to Form Streaming Video Alliance

Comcast Updates X1, Critics Concerned About Net Neutrality

Comcast introduced a new version of its television operating system, X1, at a media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. The system runs apps, records content to the cloud, and personalizes recommendations for users. The remote control features voice command, and the software also allows users to summon a technician to fix a problem if needed. These advanced technologies bring criticism that Comcast could become a gatekeeper of TV content, thereby violating net neutrality in the process. Continue reading Comcast Updates X1, Critics Concerned About Net Neutrality

President Obama Calls for New Rules Protecting Net Neutrality

In a statement and video posted on the White House website, President Obama formally announced his support of an open Internet, urging the FCC to treat consumer broadband service as a public utility. The president is proposing a strict net neutrality policy that opposes any need for content providers to pay broadband companies extra for faster access. Service providers including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon were quick to respond, suggesting that the proposal would not stand up in court. Continue reading President Obama Calls for New Rules Protecting Net Neutrality

Report: TV Viewers Continue to Drop Cable and Satellite Subs

Third quarter reports indicate a greater reduction in the number of pay TV customers as compared to the previous year. The decline in pay TV customers suggest that a growing number of consumers are taking to “cord cutting” when it comes to media consumption. With a number of viable streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon currently available, customers are choosing to abandon traditional pay TV to avoid paying the steep cost of cable and satellite packages. Continue reading Report: TV Viewers Continue to Drop Cable and Satellite Subs

Trial: Verizon FiOS and Netflix Test Bundled Subscription Plan

Verizon and Netflix are quietly testing a plan that could lead to an industry first regarding a major MVPD offering the SVOD service as part of a bundled subscription. Verizon is offering new FiOS Triple Play customers in New York City a free year’s worth of Netflix (a $108 value). The trial follows the back-and-forth between Verizon and Netflix contentiously debating which company was to blame for buffering problems that eventually led to a peering deal with Netflix paying extra fees. Continue reading Trial: Verizon FiOS and Netflix Test Bundled Subscription Plan

Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Comcast applied for a trademark last week for a high-speed Internet service named “True Gig.” The company already offers an expensive high-speed Internet service known as the “Extreme 505” with 505Mbps download speeds, but Comcast plans to eventually launch an even faster gigabit Internet service. The company also wants to use the phrase to describe online video streaming. The company’s previous video streaming service is no longer being offered as a standalone service. Continue reading Comcast Trademarks ‘True Gig’ High-Speed Internet Service

Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

A New York federal judge has ruled against TV-over-the-Internet startup Aereo and in favor of a group of major broadcasters including Disney’s ABC, CBS Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox, Comcast’s NBC, and PBS. Judge Alison Nathan ordered that Aereo’s “Watch Now” system be shut down. “The Supreme Court has concluded that Aereo performs publicly when it retransmits Plaintiffs’ content live over the Internet and thus infringes Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Nathan in her 17-page opinion yesterday. Continue reading Judge Rules Against Aereo, Can No Longer Retransmit Live TV

Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

Amazon is reportedly in talks with at least three Hollywood studios to join the UltraViolet digital locker consortium. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Amazon has been in talks with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. The retail giant is currently ranked No. 2 behind Apple in digital movie sales and rentals. If Amazon were to implement UltraViolet, it could help jumpstart efforts to expand the $2 billion online movie-sales business and make it a greater threat to Apple. Continue reading Amazon in Talks with Hollywood Studios to Join UltraViolet

FCC May Introduce New Regulations for Online Video Services

Insiders indicate that the Federal Communications Commission is presently considering the introduction of new regulations for companies that provide subscription video services via the Internet. The FCC is reportedly looking at whether online providers should be regulated the same as traditional cable and satellite companies — or multichannel video program distributors. The move could affect those companies that are planning to launch OTT online video services in the future. Continue reading FCC May Introduce New Regulations for Online Video Services

Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Public interest groups and tech companies participated in an Internet “slowdown” yesterday to raise awareness of the potential impact to net neutrality and an open Internet if slow lanes were to result from proposed FCC rules. It was not an actual throttling of Internet speeds, but a campaign in which sites featured messages about the issue and symbolic “loading” icons. Thousands of websites urged their users to take action. As a result, the FCC received a record 1,477,301 public comments. Continue reading Battle for the Net: Internet Slowdown Generates Big Numbers

Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Time Warner Cable signed a direct interconnection deal with Netflix, which makes it the fourth of the biggest ISPs to sign such an agreement with the video service. The deal should improve the Netflix experience for TWC broadband subscribers. Netflix signed similar deals with AT&T, Comcast and Verizon in recent months after fighting with the providers. Despite signing the paid peering agreements, Netflix continues to argue before the FCC and publicly that such arrangements violate net neutrality. Continue reading Netflix Signs Paid Peering Deal with TWC for Faster Streaming

Sprint Ends Pursuit of T-Mobile, Plans to Replace Chief Exec

Facing opposition from regulators, Sprint has opted to bow out of its pursuit of T-Mobile. The deal would have valued T-Mobile at $32 billion and provided a stronger rival to Verizon and AT&T. Sprint, the country’s third largest wireless carrier, will now have to rebuild its declining subscriber base on its own, and is currently testing new price plans. The company also decided during a board meeting yesterday to replace CEO Dan Hesse with billionaire entrepreneur Marcelo Claure. Continue reading Sprint Ends Pursuit of T-Mobile, Plans to Replace Chief Exec

NATAS Announces 66th Tech Emmys, To Be Presented at CES

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced recipients of the 66th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards, which will be presented at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the ninth consecutive year. Apple, Microsoft, Roku, Sony and TiVo will be recognized for television enhancement devices. HBO and Netflix will receive awards for second screen navigation. Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Corporation will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Continue reading NATAS Announces 66th Tech Emmys, To Be Presented at CES

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